Identifying and Assessing Effective Mechanisms for Technology Transfer
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT
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The ability to shift knowledge and resources from federal laboratories to industrial and academic partners and vice versa is the primary reason why technology transfer exists today. Without the cooperation of federal, state, and private agencies working together to resolve technology quandaries, a lot of the breakthroughs that are evident today would not exist. This research attempts to uncover the mechanisms currently used by scientists and engineers at the Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL, Wright-Patterson AFB, to transfer technology to industries, corporations, and universities. The research encompasses both official and unofficial mechanisms and investigates why some methods are preferred over others. The study also attempts to determine which barriers are preventing technology transfer from occurring in a more fluid fashion, and what lab employees are doing to overcome these obstacles. Interviews were conducted with personnel at all levels of the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson, to identify the preferred transfer mechanisms and the reasons for their use. The results show that there AFRL directorates leveraging the use of official mechanisms and reaping the benefits. Those that are not using these mechanisms say the reason is that they either lack the knowledge or the infrastructure to do so. Unofficial mechanisms are used almost as often as official ones. The problem is that there isnt any guidance for using unofficial mechanisms. Most directorates lack a sense of strategic vision, which is a barrier to technology transfer, and this lack of vision is linked to the other three barriers lack of trust, funding issues, and lack of training. All of these barriers are related to organizational leadership.
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